The COVID-19 pandemic brought about the lowest gas prices at the pump since the 1980s, and according to AAA, prices appear to be poised to begin another drop heading into the fall and winter months.
The auto club reported that the average price of gasoline across South Central Ohio was 10 cents lower this week at $2.14 per gallon.
The cost of gasoline in Hillsboro beat that price by an average of a quarter a gallon as of Thursday, with prices ranging from a low of $1.85 at Kroger to a high of $1.99 at Holtfield Station.
Other mini marts in the city were within one to six cents of Kroger, whose price dropped again by three cents since Wednesday afternoon.
In contrast, The Times-Gazette reported that at the height of the pandemic in late April, the price at the pump in Hillsboro averaged $1.25, with Washington C.H. at $1.17 and Chillicothe bottoming out at $1.09.
AAA said that the average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in Washington C.H. was $2.18 and Chillicothe was at $2.01.
According to the real-time fuel price tech company GasBuddy.com, Wilmington’s average gas price was $1.99, Fayetteville’s was at $1.95, drivers stopping into Mt. Orab saw an average of $2.14, while further east Seaman averaged $2.25 and Peebles was at $2.21, which was the national average gas price on Thursday.
The auto club reported that motorists saw plenty of savings at the pump this past summer.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the national gas price average was $2.15, which was the cheapest it’s been since 2004.
Demand was decimated this summer, they said, which ultimately meant increased supply and cheap gas prices.
AAA reported that the trend is apparently continuing, as the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed that demand had dropped from 9.16 million barrels per day to 8.79 million barrels.
Moreover, it said that total gasoline supplies were over five million barrels higher than this time last year.
Moving into fall, with Tuesday, Sept. 22 being the first day of autumn, the auto club said that pump prices may drop even further due to the distribution of winter-blend gasoline and a predicted drop in demand.
At the end of their formal trading session on Sept. 4, West Texas Intermediate’s price decreased by $1.60 to settle at $39.77 per barrel, which the company said was a reaction to a decline in the stock market.
The price decreased despite the EIA’s weekly report that revealed total domestic crude inventories had dropped by 9.4 million barrels, lowering total domestic stocks to 498.4 million barrels.
As for the price at the pump, the lowest price in the Buckeye State on Thursday was in Findlay and the Cincinnati suburb of Forest Park, where GasBuddy.com reported a gallon of gas was at $1.69.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.